Far North Mayor John Carter takes stand against domestic violence

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Mayor John Carter is taking a stand against domestic violence ahead of White Ribbon Day.
Mayor John Carter is taking a stand against domestic violence ahead of White Ribbon Day.

Far North Mayor John Carter is taking a stand against domestic violence and he wants other men to step up to help stop the abuse.

Mr Carter has pledged to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence towards women.

He made the pledge this week in support of White Ribbon Day, which is held every year on November 25.

White Ribbon Day asks men to lead by example by signing the anti-domestic violence pledge, being good role models and by wearing a white ribbon to show they don't condone or tolerate violence towards women.

This year the Yes/No November campaign focuses on promoting respectful relationships - one of the first steps to combating violence.

"I think we all have to acknowledge the very real problem we have in New Zealand with male violence against women," said Mr Carter.

"The statistics don't lie: 78 per cent of partner homicides in New Zealand are men killing their female partner or ex. Just 2 per cent are women killing their male partner."

Mr Carter said the Yes/No campaign drives home a simple, clear message around consent.

"I'm happy to make a public stand on this issue. We all have to say yes to respectful relationships and no to violence," he said.

"I encourage everyone to take the pledge - both men and women."

The White Ribbon Day pledge can be completed by signing an online form at http://whiteribbon.org.nz/act/the-pledge/.

Mr Carter's stance comes as Kaitaia police call on people to calm down and seek help to prevent a repeat of last weekend's high number of domestic violence callouts.

Acting Senior Sergeant Sarah Wihongi said that between Friday and Sunday night Kaitaia police investigated 10 cases of domestic violence reported to them.

But she believes the number of domestic violence cases in the area during the weekend would have been much higher, because not all cases are reported to police.

"Those [cases] are just a drop in the bucket really," she said.

Mrs Wihongi said with the festive season fast approaching stress levels were rising and it was showing in a rise in domestic violence callouts for police.

"People are starting to feel the pressure because of the time of year, but that's no excuse for domestic violence," she said.

"Anybody feeling that pressure should seek help. Winz or your local police station will tell you where to go to get help. It's best for the whole family if people seek help early enough to stop it descending into violence."

Mrs Wihongi said none of the callouts on the weekend involved serious injuries, but it was still distressing to the victims.

"Any domestic violence is unacceptable so please seek help and keep an eye on your neighbours, family members and friends and get them help if they need it."

- Northern Advocate

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